News Release - November 2, 2009

SFPL Launches First “Teaching Garden” at Mission Branch

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers, (415) 557-4282


San Francisco Public Library Launches First “Teaching Garden” at Mission Branch Library

Library Responds to Mayor’s Directive to Grow Food on City’s Unused Land


The Mission Branch of the San Francisco Public Library is launching the Library’s first “teaching garden” for children in response to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s directive to grow food on the City’s unused land. Students from Marshall Elementary School will be “tending” the garden while they learn about growing food sustainably in an urban environment.


Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, 3–4 p.m.


Mayor Gavin Newsom has launched a variety of landmark food initiatives designed to increase healthy food awareness and the consumption of locally-grown healthy foods in San Francisco’s schools and communities. One of them is to assess unused City property for the purpose of growing food.

Lia Hillman, Interim Children’s Room Manager of the Mission Branch Library, organized a partnership with Janet Moyer Landscaping, Garden for the Environment, and the Mission Greenbelt Project to produce a “teaching garden” as a new resource that will offer the Mission’s community the opportunity to learn about growing food sustainably in an urban environment. It will also provide local schools with a resource for hands-on science lessons and other potential partnerships with programs such as Eat Ur Veggies at Mission High School.

Janet Moyer Landscaping ( has designed and constructed planting beds, installed a state of the art “smart” drip irrigation system, provided oversight of volunteers working on the project and obtained contributions from their supplier partners including Ewing Irrigation, Toro Irrigation Products, Broadmoor Landscape Supply and Sierra Point Lumber. The planting beds line the west wall of the patio. The surrounding patio fence will be covered in flowering vines to attract pollinating insects while providing a functional, attractive barrier to an adjacent alley.

The teaching garden will be an educational forum for local organizations with expertise in gardening. In addition to worm composting workshops, Garden for the Environment will offer workshops on planning, maintaining and harvesting food crops. Hillman also envisions intergenerational programs with seniors and/or teens working with children. Program offerings could include harvest celebrations, cooking and nutrition classes and how to grow food in San Francisco.

Through its Green Stacks program, the San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to helping the City go green through environmental initiatives and partnerships and library programs, exhibitions and information. The new teaching garden at the Mission Library is an example of this enterprise.

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